Raw notes from CTW on drum sounds

Hi everyone! I decided to just copy and paste my entire Evernote block of notes that I had for CTW into this post. It is kind of organized. I’m going to be doing a series of posts on how I get drums sounding good, but this may be a good starting point for some of you to see where I’m going with this.

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Drum tuning and mixing tips (part 1)

So, I was a guest for my first CTW (Church Tech Weekly) last night and had a blast. Mike Sessler and the crew are fun to grab a Skype hangout with. I had talked through some of the techniques that work for me on drums and working with them in a mix and I wanted to get my notes down that I had prepared. The following is just that plus some more items that I didn’t have a chance to talk through.

Good drum sounds start with drum tuning. If the drums aren’t maintained and sound bad, how can you get a good sound from them? No amount of eq, compression or plugin du jour will fully overcome a bad drum set. You might get close after a ton of mixing work, but why? Read the rest of Drum tuning and mixing tips (part 1) »

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All Love – The Waiting

I’m working on the final mix of the new song, “All Love” by The Waiting. It’s getting really close to completion. Todd is working on a keyboard part to thicken up the verses and I’m probably going to put a bit of sonic awesomeness in there somewhere.

My drum part was recorded at the same time as our previous rock single, “Name”. This one was a little less done when I cut the drum part, so it has taken longer to fully realize all the other parts. In the end, it’ll be one of my favorites. Here’s a screen shot of the mix session. Not much, but I gotta put something here…
All Love mix session

Check later. I’ll get a sample posted. Read the rest of All Love – The Waiting »

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TheWaiting.org to use Concrete5

Some of you know that I used to administer The Waiting’s website. I say “used to” because Dann Gunn will be taking over the re-design. Dann is a longtime fan of the band and has some great ideas on how to do the redesign.

Back in the day I used to have to hand code the HTML used on the site and I used Microsoft FrontPage and Adobe GoLive. Now things like WordPress and Concrete5 make things much easier. Well, I’ll say “easier” with a caveat. It’s now harder to make things look the way you want them to. You have to tinker with the template files to make things just right. The good part is that once it’s all up and running, regular posting becomes a cake walk (which I’ve never actually been on).

I’m looking forward to what Dan has planned with the site & will be excited to see the feedback it gets.

Read the rest of TheWaiting.org to use Concrete5 »

New song by The Waiting

Well, The Waiting is at it again. We started writing on a new song back in late 2009. We tossed ideas back and forth over the Internet and had final parts recorded over the last few months. Todd has been keeping up with all of the tracks and has done an awesome job of producing this so far. He asked if I would take a whack at mixing the final product, to which I said, “oh yeah!”

I worked on it last night and everything came together pretty quickly. I’m not done with the mix, not yet, but it’s in the ballpark.


** UPDATE ** It’s done and on iTunes!
Follow the link here to preview (and buy :) the single.
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Single "On The Floor" now on iTunes

I’m pleased to announce that the latest single from Jack Kennesaw is now available via iTunes. This single is a collaboration between Blake Weatherby (guitars, vocals, and keys), Joel Thomas (bass guitar) and myself (drums, keys, vocals, weird loops, engineering and production).

We put this track together using some very cool production techniques. Blake wrote the song over a few weeks time and then produced a rough demo at his house. We then brought this into my studio and worked on a final arrangement and tempo. We worked on the drum track and some keys and then Blake took it back to his home studio to work on guitars and vocals. He had Joel come over and record the bass track, then brought it back over to my studio (on a flash drive!) so we could finish up percussion, overdubs and a final mix. I mastered the track and we all took time to listen critically over the next week or so. Blake and I worked on the cover design in Illustrator and made a master file that we could use for all distribution. Finally, we made some mix tweaks and re-mastered the track and sent it off to TuneCore for publication to the iTunes store. All in all, it was a refreshing experience and one that I hope to repeat soon.

Enjoy Jack Kennesaw – On The Floor on iTunes today.

[UPDATE] Apple has removed the link to the songs, so here’s the SoundCloud link:

Read the rest of Single "On The Floor" now on iTunes »

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Bon Vivant Salon website

I had the pleasure of working with a few awesome people over the last few months. Chad and Maureen Boling, owners of Bon Vivant Salon, approached me to re-design their website. They had a single page for their website that was really just a calling card. They knew that in order to be competitive they had to step it up and part of that is having a great website. We met a few times and discussed the look and feel of their website until we all had a really good idea of what to communicate. I believe that we have created a very nice, modern-clean website that conveys the philosophy of their salon – “Hair design as original as you”.

We’ve received some great feedback from clients and from other salons. One of the greatest parts of the website is that it is scalable and is visible on any browser – even the iPhone. Check out www.bonvivantsalon.com and give them a call if you’d like to get a great haircut from Chad, Maureen or any of their super talented stylists. Tell them that I sent you!


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New CD "Unhero" on iTunes!

Click to go to album on iTunesWell, it started off as a project that was supposed to take a month from start to finish, but it ended up being about 8 months in the making. I believe that each and every day that we worked on it was totally worth it! We had some killer creative time in the studio from the laying of the scratch tracks to the final overdubs. Also, I had a chance to work with someone that I’ve been wanting to record with for some time. Scott King was gracious to let me cut the drum tracks at his studio. I setup in the morning and by nightfall we had 11 awesome completed tracks recorded. Sweet efficiency. We came back to my studio with a new sense that this project was going to be great.

Blake really stepped up to the plate with his song-writing and his guitar playing. I believe that the vocals are where this project really shines. If authentic, believable vocals are your thing, Blake has certainly delivered. Within each track you can hear the struggle and victory that each song tells. Blake is a real trooper when it comes to working on his craft, and I can’t wait to hear what the future holds.

Check out Jack Kennesaw – Unhero on iTunes.

[UPDATE] Apple has removed the CD from iTunes. Here’s the SoundCloud share:


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@branthomps forward!

As you can see, I’ve started a blog.  It’s something that has been on my mind for awhile.  I’ll try to keep things brief and most of the time, the Twitter feed tells alot of what’s going on.  For now, I give you this:  Technology can give us the power to do what we want to do in life.  Sometimes it works for us, sometimes it needs a little patience.

Follow me on Twitter @BranThomps and I’ll follow you!


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